Woman gets 18 months in jail for conspiring to smuggle 18,000 reptiles

HOGANSBURG – A 28-year-old Hogansburg woman will serve 18 months in jail for conspiring to smuggle more than 18,000 endangered and threatened reptiles from the United States into Canada.

Olivia Terrance pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the U.S. and was sentenced by Judge Norman A. Mordue, the U.S. attorneys office for northern New York announced today. Her jail time will be followed by three years of supervised release.

In 2009 and 2010, Terrance and others smuggled turtles and other reptiles worth hundreds of thousands of dollars into Canada, where they were sold to dealers and collectors, according to the U.S. attorneys office. She was caught when law-enforcement officers followed her by car and helicopter after she received a shipment of reptiles and transported it into Canada by boat.

Special agents of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service investigated the case with help from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Canadian Wildlife Service, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canada Border Services Agency and the Mohawk Nation Tribal Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig A. Benedict prosecuted the case.